First Posted: 5/5/2013
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A week like no other at Quail Hollow held one final surprise Sunday when 22-year-old rookie Derek Ernst birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff, and then won the Wells Fargo Championship on the first extra hole against David Lynn of England.
Ernst was playing only his ninth PGA Tour event. He was the fourth alternate at the start of the week. He was No. 1,207 in the world ranking. None of that mattered when he choked up on a 6-iron from 192 yards and drilled his shot into 4 feet. He made one of only four birdies on the 18th in the final round, and this was the most important. It gave him a 2-under 70 and put him in a playoff with Lynn, who also shot 70.
The shot was no fluke. On the 18th hole in the playoff, as the cold rain started coming down harder, Ernst hit a 3-iron left of the flag to 15 feet. Lynn went from the bank of a creek to the bunker to the rough behind the green, and Ernst was able to win with a par.
Phil Mickelson, who had a one-shot lead with three holes to play, made bogeys on the 16th and 17th holes, and he narrowly missed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th that would have allowed him to join the playoff. He had a 73 and finished third.
Ernst won just over $1.2 million and most important to him was the two-year exemption that comes with winning.
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Cristie Kerr made a short par putt on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff with Suzann Pettersen to win the Kingsmill Championship for the third time.
The victory was the 16th of Kerr’s career, and her third in five career playoffs. She also won at the River Course in 2005 and 2009.
Kerr shot a 2-under 69, and Pettersen had a 67 to finish at 12-under 272 on the River Course.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas — Esteban Toledo celebrated Cinco de Mayo by becoming the first Mexican winner in Champions Tour history, beating Mike Goodes with a par on the third hole of a playoff in the Insperity Championship.